Patients satisfied, says snapshot survey check

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PEOPLE in Suffolk say they are satisfied with the out of hours GP service operated by Harmoni.

A survey conducted by Suffolk LINk - local involvement network, showed that the majority of people who responded said they were satisfied.

Harmoni took over the service in April 2010 after NHS Suffolk switched its providers from the previous providers Doctors on Call (CHECK)

While there were still complaints about response times and delays in arranging clinic appointments or GP home visits the number of complaints have been falling.

LINk member Anne Nicholls said: “I have been monitoring out of hours care in Suffolk since 2004 when GP contracts were changed so that they were no longer directly responsible for their patients’ treatments out of normal surgery hours.”

Ms Nicholls says that the latest survey sent out 800 questionnaires and received a 47 per cent response which showed the majority were satisfied.

“We will continue to monitor Harmoni’s performance but the trend is certainly positive in terms of levels of patient satisfaction,” she added.

Bildeston Health Centre which continued to provide out of hours care by its own GPs has now moved across to the countywide provider.

This was in the light of moves towards GP commisssioning and changes being made which mean people can chose their GP practice.

This made the doctors catchment too large for them to continue to provide the service.